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The late-medieval crisis quantified: real taxes in Sweden, 1320-1550
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2015 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, E-ISSN 1502-7716, Vol. 40, no 1, 1-24 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article aims to assess the size of secular taxes in medieval Sweden in real terms. The size oftaxes is calculated as the quantity of butter and the number of oxen that could be bought for agiven tax sum. In addition, nominal taxes are converted into grams of silver. Three distinctiveperiods are discerned: (1) a phase of low taxes 1320–1363; (2) a period of very high taxes from1363 up to the Engelbrekt uprising in 1434; and (3) a new phase of low taxes up to the mid-16th century. A study of taxes at the regional and national levels makes it possible to evaluatethe weight of the main regions of the kingdom (including Finland) in the central fiscal system atthe end of the medieval era. A national overview of the situation around 1530 is put forward.During the period of high fiscal pressure in Sweden in the decades around 1400, taxes pertaxpayer were much higher than those of England. In the low-tax periods, on the other hand,taxes were insufficient to create a working monopoly of violence. The result was drawn-outconflict between warlords for a large part of the 15th century and well into the 16th century.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 40, no 1, 1-24 p.
Keyword [en]
real taxes, Middle Ages, Sweden, late-medieval crisis
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121772DOI: 10.1080/03468755.2014.976839OAI: diva2:861234
Välfärdens förhistoria: levnadsstandard, kris och skattetryck 1300-1600
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, P2012:0176
Available from: 2015-10-15 Created: 2015-10-15 Last updated: 2015-11-03Bibliographically approved

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Retsö, DagSöderberg, Johan
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